Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fun Peg Is On First

I recently purchased a set of Abbot and Costello movies, second hand for almost nothing. I prefer
Laurel and Hardy, but these were cheap laughs, so...
Their first movie together they were fourth billed, a trifle called, "One Night In The Tropics" in which
the lady above, Peggy Moran was third billed.
The first thing that sparked my interest was seeing who had written the musical numbers: Dorothy Fields
and Jerome Kern, with one song from Oscar Hammerstein II.
This is the like going to neighbor's BBQ and finding Wolfgang Puck and Gaida De Laurentiis  flipping the burgers.
So, Peggy Moran. When she came on the screen, she reminded me instantly of a friend named Mickey,
and it turned out that Mickey was also the name of her character.
I checked her page at the Internet Movie Data Base, and she had another distinction remarkable for Hollywood-she married once, Henry Koster, and they remained wed for life.
Henry Koster directed Jimmy Stewart in "Harvey" and many, many other features, and this from her page made me smile:
"When she married Henry Koster in 1942, he promised to put her in every movie he made in the future and he did. He had a bust of her head made and it was used in all of his films after their marriage."
Sometimes we should tip our coffee cup to those who get it right. I wouldn't say that
"One Night In The Tropics" is a masterpiece, but it is FUN. Allan Jones is the lead, Abbot and Costello
prove their worth, and with the Fields/Kern songs, it was a delight.

Monday, February 25, 2013

History of a Goof

Listening to a history podcast right now-a series on life in ancient Rome which is very interesting (to me).
Just another reason I love iTunes, and iTunes U with access to Universities and college courses from all around the world-this podcast is from La Trobe University in Australia.
My personal history will never be fodder for a history course, of course, but part of my morning fun today
was working with old photos, digitizing and 'cleaning up' stuff from my back whens.
One of my best friends in high school is seen above responding to my mugging. Always go for the laugh, right?
All lose touch with old friends-I heard that he came back for our 30 year school reunion-I was
'working'-doing wedding photos for a friend, so I missed seeing him.
S'allright. We probably don't have that much in common anymore. Just yesterday I visited with another friend from HS who was at our church for a special service. Much in common indeed.
Years ago I determined not to share too much of my life online-I see dangers and possible abuses in the social networks where people are too open.
But here at FDW I can drop the mystery mask a little bit from time to time. I think it's safe-hardly anyone knows that it exists.
"Neronian Renaissanse" is the Roman course episode I'm listening to now-compared to Nero I am an angel.
Looking back at my years, I see the hand of God directing me down my path. I was a few years away from becoming a Christian in the photo above...but God was there. He knew me before the creation of the world, according to Scripture, and from an early age I knew Who I was hiding from. I look on the day that Christ
brought me to Salvation as the best day of my life; the rest since then have been pretty good.
May God tap you on the shoulder.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dead Blogging The Oscars

Nothing mordant in the post title-it's just that the Oscars are on right now, and I lack the ABC network on my TV, so I am not quite 'live blogging' Oscar night.
I just finished watching "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" on Blu ray, and I like it better now than when it premiered and 'just wasn't as good' as "Raiders". Compared to the tired and weak "Crystal Skulls" fourth entry, "Temple" is a masterwork of cinema, with more gross out humor than a Sam Raimi flick.
Speaking of Raimi, I am looking forward to his "Oz the Great and Powerful" next month-should be a great show.
Here and elsewhere you have seen the word 'cosmos' used to refer to the world system in which we exist which is in conflict with God.
Prime Example: if there were no worldly conflict with God, Christians would be the most beloved citizens of this planet as we are members of God's family. We are not beloved. Often we are not even tolerated.
So, this cosmos, this world which rejects God seeks to supplant Him with an array of Prominent Peoples, little gods who deign to walk among us...which brings us back to the Oscars, and the celebration of MAN's achievements.
Actors and film makers are idolized for their 'Art'? Why?
I love movies, and have quite a good collection...but I don't idolize any man or woman because I know that we are all dust.
I don't buy into the hype that movie stars are anything special. There are talented people with great gifts-for example, I consider Gabriela Montero a gifted pianist. I respect her art. But I don't idolize her-she's also just dust.
It's not just Hollywood. A Lithuanian friend once told me that Michael Jordan is more popular in his country than Jesus Christ. Lithuania is a predominantly Catholic country, so that was a bold statement.
Oh yes-the picture. One of my finest portraits. Everything was perfect a half a second before the shutter clicked. It's a fave.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Before The Silver Cord Is Broken

"1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”; 
2before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; 
3in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; 
4and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly." Ecclesiastes 12:1-4

Before the evil days come-what evil days? What makes days evil? What years draw near that you have no delight in?
The years way PAST youth, when we become weaker and infirm; we used to run as children, and now a cane, a shuffling walk, betrayed by knees and joints and equilibrium.
"Before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened," Of course, the darkness is in the eye of the beholder. Youth with sharp eyes became elders with diminishing vision, kings and paupers alike. Even today we cannot keep eyes from growing dim.
"The doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly." 
Have you ever visited with an elderly friend whose television volume is set higher than yours?
The sound of the grinding mill, the daughters sing softly? Not to your ears, but for us all the world becomes quieter and then silent.
Personal note: I had the honor and the burden of taking care of my parents as their health diminished, and I now see age affecting my elderly friends and family. 
This Solomon who wrote Ecclesiastes knew his beans.
If we live a long life, we become shadows of our youthful selves. But God is Good, and we do not wear this worn out garment of a body throughout Eternity. Praise God.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Day I Lost My Mind

Summer 1981. Fido Castro decided that Cuba could do with a bit of Spring Cleaning; he opened his prisons and insane asylums and said, "You who want to get out...GET OUT!"
So began the exodus of Cuban refugees grabbing anything that could float for them to make it to the land of the free.
I had just a few months left in my enlistment, and my ship's officers decided that they could get along without
me-I spent all of August in Key West temporarily assigned to help with the retrieval of the Cuban flotsam.
It was HOT. I was nearly miserable, and stayed inside (as much as possible) with air conditioning at the Days Inn where I had been billeted.
The Day I Lost My Mind was the day I turned on the TV and discovered "Fawlty Towers". Whatever channel it was, they were playing one episode after another all day.
I had never seen anything like it. I laughed so hard I was helpless on the floor for hours. As soon as one
was done another would begin, so I'm thinking it must have been cable like HBO-no commercials, no possible break to catch my breath, I was GONE.
It was brilliant; I recently bought the remastered collection, which looks great-remarkable, considering how long ago the shows were produced.
If you want to laugh, catch up with Basil, Sybil, Polly and Manuel. It shines.

Amateur Fain vs Profane

This will shock and amaze no one, but I don't cuss like I did before I became a Christian.
I WAS a sailor, and my language was as salty as the briny deep, as I WAS in the military, it was socially acceptable.
One of the first things God changed in me when I was saved was my language. I don't
claim to be pure in that regard to this day, but compared to what I was, I'm an angel.
Every once in a while I see a former boatmate who lives in our same town. His language is
peppered with profanities even now.
Back in my cooking days I worked for a chef who cussed quite a bit. I told him that he was losing
language, that because he was so profane, the cuss words he used had lost their effect. I can't repeat
his answer here at FDW, but you can use your imagination.
From the free dictionary by Farlex:
 pro·fane  (pr-fn, pr-)
1. Marked by contempt or irreverence for what is sacred.
2. Nonreligious in subject matter, form, or use; secular: sacred and profane music.
3. Not admitted into a body of secret knowledge or ritual; uninitiated.
4. Vulgar; coarse.

Do you realize that you may be profane (by this definition) simply by showing contempt
for what is sacred? That to say, "I don't believe in God." is the same as cussing like a rap artiste?
Wow. I thought I was bad.
It all comes down to God, and how we are either accepted or rejected by Him. To be clear-it is all
HIS decision, who will be saved or not-I didn't achieve a single thing, I did not have anything to do with
my Salvation except to say yes (which I was prompted to do by God).
So those brought into His family lose their profanity-(most of the time-we are still sinners though saved by Grace-we still make mistakes and I wouldn't claim that I don't ever speak profanely. )
those on the outside of His Grace are simply profane by their lives and actions, whether they cuss or not.
May God save you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


So, the big news of the week is that Papa Benny has decided to retire from Popery.
Not being of the Catholic persuasion myself, this means el zilcho to me, but I can appreciate
that it might be a big deal for the paganistas.
Of course, every one retiring should keep busy, find something to wake up I
suggest that the Pope run for President of the United States.
Sure, it's a step down for him, but as he is stepping down anyway...why not?
He already has experience being a figurehead, leaving the actual running of a country
to upstarts and scalywags.
There wouldn't be any rumblings from the atheists about separation of church and state...
because he would no longer BE Pope.
If we've learned anything from Nixon, it's that a President can resign in the middle of his term,
so if President Obama wanted to move on to his next gig, really, there's
no reason to stay. Look around-his work is done.
We could hold a special election and Catholic Jokin' Joe Biden would certainly stay on as Veep for former Pope Benedict, who could probably wipe up the floor with any pretenders to the throne (Bill Maher? Al Franken? Lady Gaga?) also running.
The gentleman pilot on the right cringing in the photo above is being played by...
If by now you're wondering if my pilot light has gone out...I'm fine. The pilot/actor noted above
in Plan Nine, Greg Walcott played a jerk named "Pope" in "The Eiger Sanction".
If Pope Benny decided not to run for President, 'Pope' Walcott is a few years younger and
would do a better job than who we've got now.
An Actor for President? It could work.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Unequal But Free

Unequal but free. Christian vs everyone else. The two are not equal, but both are free to
live, breathe, and survive on this side of Eternity.
You will not find Christians living ABOVE anyone else-God mixes us in, the salt of the earth with the
rest of the earth, for His good purposes.
But we aren't equal.
Those whom God has gathered into His family have been blessed with new life, with His indwelling
Those who have not been made part of God's family are incapable of understanding what that means.

"21    This I recall to my mind,     Therefore I have hope.
22    The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,     For His compassions never fail.
23    They are new every morning;     Great is Your faithfulness.
24    “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,     “Therefore I have hope in Him.”
25    The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,     To the person who seeks Him.
26    It is good that he waits silently     For the salvation of the LORD."

Lamentations 3:21-26 
I've quoted these verses before here at FDW-I keep returning to this passage as it is filled with wisdom, blessings and promises from God which have comforted me throughout my life.  
Those who have not been made part of God's family are incapable of understanding what that means.
For your beliefs (even unbelievers believe something) to be valid, my belief in God must be invalid.
For my belief in God to be valid, your belief must be invalid.
Both cannot be true.
Do you have proof? A witness? Some way of determining that God does not exist? No.
Do I have proof? A witness? Yes. The new life, the indwelling of God's Spirit.
Those who have not been made part of God's family are incapable of understanding what that means.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Be a Pal

On first thought, be kind, if that is an option for you.
In my past 48 hours I have benefited from the kindness of friends, who have brightened my
darkish day(s). Very cool.
X-ample Time!
I stole something awhile ago, and it has worked out for the better.
I used to live in a small town which was very 'enviro-groovy' with tree huggers abounding.
I 'stole' an idea from the post office up there, shared it with my local postal station here and now
we have a recycling bin in the lobby in place of an overstuffed trash can.
At the Superduper-Market where I shop I park truck far from the entrance, grab a shopcart on my
way in to leave inside. Costs me nothing but a little more exercise; if more people did this, the burden
on the staff would be lessened.
I'm not tootin' my own saxophone here-these are examples of what I've done. The point is, look
for little things that you can do which can make life easier/better/happier for your fellow man and womankind. Even (especially) if no one notices or gives you a thumbs up/thank you.
The world can always use another good day.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Preposterously Inelegant

35 years ago-I just did the math. Even back then in the rudiments, I was 'making funny' though lacking the context of real life experience.
Now I have R.L. Experience...but funny? I dunno.
My Jan/early Feb has been tumult and upheaval...but as I noted in the last post, I lean not on my own understanding. Tumult comes and goes and comes again, but my foundation, my house is built on the solid ground of Christ and His promises to take care of us whatever upheaval heaves up around us. s'cool.
I was in Montreal when the picture was taken-the smaller photo is from a booth in the subway system.
Talk about lacking life experience-back in that era I bought a ticket to see a big name rock band, and I mistook E.L+.P. for E.L.O.
I didn't ever do drugs, but the pot smoke wafting through the audience gave me a headache-I left after hearing "Lucky Man".
Just this week I saw a friend I worked with 30 years ago-she now has 6 kids and a few grandchildren.
It is wow. I still feel like the kid in the picture above. I make funny and have a feeling I will still be joking on my deathbed.
I can see it now-my relatives surrounding me, waiting for the death fairy to sprinkle the magic dust and get it over with, and my last words would be:
"I hid all of the gold in the..."